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A swinging tale on French songs and history


Bart Van Loo

'French chanson is firmly grounded in life with both feet. The left foot anchored in small history, that of you and me. The right foot touches world history, that of kings and revolutions. The story of French chanson is indeed the story of history, but at the same time the story of the most universal inner feelings.  Love, grief, death, freedom, revolution, war. Your story and mine, but also that of Charlemagne, Louis XIV and Charles de Gaulle. That is the story I want to tell.'

Bart Van Loo’s declaration of intent opens a highly original and enjoyable alternative history of France in the light of French chansons. By combining an erudite knowledge of French music and historical facts Bart Van Loo constructs fascinating and unexpected connections.

An ambitious and harmonious get together of touristic guide, history lesson and good stories.
Radio 1

The immortal songs of Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Edith Piaf and other singing stars make a wonderful tale. Bart Van Loo walks through the streets of Paris, listens to the chansons in his head and brings French history to life in a swinging account.